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Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010

Pass-happy LeBron leads way for Cavs

CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James made at least one play that was Jordanesque. More than a few others were Magical.

News photo
Hemmed in: New Jersey's Brook Lopez shields the ball from Detroit's Ben Wallace during the Pistons' 97-93 win on Tuesday. AP PHOTO

James tied a career high with 15 assists and Shaquille O'Neal ruled underneath, collecting 13 points and 13 rebounds in 21 minutes to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the worn-down Memphis Grizzlies 105-89 on Tuesday night for their ninth straight victory.

James scored 22, but like Magic Johnson, one of the legends to whom he is often compared, he was more focused on setting up his teammates.

It was the fifth time in six games James has had at least 10 assists, accepting the challenge of running Cleveland's offense while guards Mo Williams and Delonte West are out with injuries.

"He sees things other players don't see," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "He attacks the basket and throws it out for a 3. He attacks the basket, then throws it for a layup. He gets the ball on one side, he's not looking, but he sees the guy and whips it all the way across the court for another 3-pointer.

"He's just a great player. I don't know much more that you can say about him."

Cleveland has won its past four games by an average of 19 points.

Rudy Gay scored 15 for Memphis, playing its fourth game in five nights. Zach Randolph finished with eight points — 13 below his average — on 3-of-14 shooting and O.J. Mayo had 10 on a 4-of-15 night as Cleveland's defense clamped down hard on the Grizzlies, who beat the Cavs in December.

"We just tried to keep a body in front of all three of them, that's O.J. and Rudy and Zach, their All-Star," James said. "It was a whole complete defensive performance, that's the reason we ended up winning big."

The Grizzlies were coming off a two-point home win over the Los Angeles Lakers, but they lacked the legs or energy to run with the Cavaliers, who lead the NBA with a 39-11 record and improved to 10-0 against Western Conference teams at home this season.

"Last night had nothing to do with tonight," Hollins said. "Tonight had to do with the Cleveland Cavaliers and what they did defensively and what they did offensively."

Rockets 119, Warriors 97

In Houston, Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry scored 24 points apiece to lead their team past Golden State.

The Rockets still finished their season-longest six-game homestand with a disappointing 2-4 record.

Monta Ellis scored 34 points for the Warriors, who've lost six in a row overall and 12 of their past 13 road games. Corey Maggette, Golden State's second-leading scorer, sat out with a hip injury.

The Rockets shot 50 percent and outrebounded the Warriors 57-35 to beat Golden State for the ninth straight time.

Thunder 106, Hawks 99

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 33 points and 11 rebounds as the Thunder recovered from blowing a 13-point lead.

Durant became the first player since Allen Iverson nine seasons ago to score at least 25 points in 22 consecutive games.

Magic 99, Bucks 82

In Orlando, Vince Carter had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to lead the undermanned Magic over Milwaukee.

The struggling shooting guard had by far his most efficient game in more than a month, giving Orlando its seventh win in eight games.

Pacers 130, Raptors 115

In Indianapolis, Toronto's run of five straight wins was ended in a high-scoring encounter against Indiana.

Danny Granger scored 23 points and Troy Murphy had 20 points and 14 rebounds as Indiana got its first win in four.

Clippers 90, Bulls 82

In Chicago, Los Angeles snapped a four-game losing skid with a surprise win.

Chris Kaman had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his return from injury and Eric Gordon scored 24 points for the Clippers.

Pistons 97, Nets 93

In East Rutherford, N.J., Detroit won its first game in six by edging the dismal Nets.

Tayshaun Prince slammed down a dunk on an inbounds play with 46 seconds left to put the Pistons ahead to stay.

Harris steps down

EAST RUTHERFORD , N.J. (AP) Longtime coach Del Harris has resigned as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets.

The Nets issued a statement from Harris minutes after they lost to the Detroit Pistons.

Harris joined the team in late November after general manager Kiki Vandeweghe was named the interim coach following the firing of Lawrence Frank after the Nets lost their first 17 games.

A former head coach with Houston, Milwaukee and the Lakers, Harris came to New Jersey to help Vandeweghe with his first head coaching assignment.

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